For the City Times
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in the City of Wisconsin Rapids on Wednesday.
This find represents the first detection of EAB in Wood County. The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service informed the DNR that an insect sample collected from a boulevard tree near the intersection of Lincoln Street and East Riverview Expressway on April 27 is EAB.
Staff employed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) observed the suspect tree while following up on other reports of EAB-infested trees in the area. Evidence of EAB infestation has been found on other nearby ash trees along the boulevard. Wood County is already in the process of being quarantined as a result of a detection of EAB in Stevens Point in Portage County, which occurred on April.
Quarantines prohibit ash wood products and hardwood firewood from being moved to areas that are not quarantined. Businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB must work with the DATCP to ensure that their products are pest free before shipping to non- quarantine counties. For private citizens, this quarantine means that residents may not take firewood from Wood County to non-quarantine counties.
While the presence of EAB in Wisconsin Rapids occurred sooner than expected, the City Council, City staff and Mayor Zach Vruwink had earlier worked together to apply for a recently awarded a $25,000 DNR matching grant that will help the City prepare a $50,000 tree inventory and urban forestry management plan with an EAB management component. This project has been budgeted and approved, and will be completed by the end of this year. The timely application and grant award allows the City to properly plan and set priorities to deal with the problem as effectively as possible.
EAB is native to China and probably entered the United States on packing material, appearing first in Michigan in 2002. It was first found in Wisconsin in 2008, in Ozaukee County.
EAB adults lay eggs on the bark of ash trees in mid- to late summer. When the eggs hatch a week or two later, the larvae burrow under the bark for the winter and feed, forming S-shaped tunnels, and destroying the tree’s ability to take up nutrients and water. During the summer, the adults emerge from the bark through D-shaped holes roughly one-eighth of an inch in diameter.
EAB becomes evident when the canopy of infested trees begins to thin above infested portions of the trunk and major branches. Heavily infested trees usually exhibit this characteristic, starting at the top. One-third to one-half of the branches may die in one year. Most of the canopy will be dead within two years of when symptoms are first observed. Sometimes, ash trees push out sprouts from the trunk after the upper portions of the tree dies. It is likely some canopy reduction will be observable in infested ash trees throughout the City, and, if left untreated, all of the ash trees will die within the next five to ten years.
DATCP recommends that property owners who have ash trees:
Keep a close watch for possible signs of EAB infestation, such as thinning canopy, D-shaped holes in the bark, cracked bark, branches sprouting low on the trunk and woodpeckers pulling at bark;
Consider preventive treatments if your property is within 15 miles of a known infestation;
Consider planting different species of trees that are not susceptible to EAB;
Call a professional, and visit emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information.
In addition to Wood County, quarantined Wisconsin counties are: Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago.
Residents seeking further information and guidance regarding options for their property can access several online resources: DATCP Services:
EAB Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/faq.php
Homeowner Information: http://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab/article.jsp?topicid=19
Homeowners Guide to Effective EAB Insecticides: https://hort.uwex.edu/articles/homeowner-guide-emerald-ash-borer-insecticide-treatments.